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HBO unveiled the trailer for Listen to Kenny G, the latest documentary in their Music Box series that looks back on the career of jazz’s black sheep: Kenny G. smooth saxophone player. This film, which debuts on HBO Max on December 2, takes a deep dive with various guests and Kenny G himself to see everything that has gone into one of music’s most alluring and hated figures.

Listen to Kenny G seeks to assess the career of an oft-hated artist and how public discourse completely collided with insider scorn. Kenneth Gorelick is the best-selling instrumental musician of all time and an artist with his fingerprints on an entire era of jazz music, appearing with artists like Babyface, Toni Braxton and even The Weeknd, while having a colossal solo career. He has recorded 18 studio albums, including one, Breathlessearned the coveted diamond status after going 12 times platinum in the United States. That same success also made Kenny G public enemy number one in the jazz community, often lambasted as a whimsical artist who toned down the genre for easy listening.


Director Penny Lane (Glory to Satan?) tackles Kenny G’s career in a wry way with the artist himself appearing in the film to explain how he became so successful and why everyone seemed to hate him. The trailer shows Kenny G along with various others explaining how his “wallpaper” music has reached so many people despite being consistently seen as unartistic background noise. Kenny G, for his part, is convinced his success came from having a good work ethic and creating the music he truly loved, even though critics say it’s capitalizing on an easy-to-sell product. . The film is produced by Bill Simmons (Andrew the Giant, showbiz kids).

Picture via HBO

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Here is the official synopsis of the documentary:

HBO’s LISTENING TO KENNY G, part of the Music Box series, directed by Penny Lane (“Hail Satan?”) and produced by Bill Simmons (“HBO’s “Andre The Giant,” “Showbiz Kids”) takes a humorous look but incisive about saxophonist Kenny G, the best-selling instrumental artist of all time and probably one of the most famous living musicians. LISTENING TO KENNY G investigates the artist formerly known as Kenneth Gorelick, uncovering the appeal of the man who played jazz so smoothly that a whole new genre formed around him, and challenging questioning fundamental assumptions about art and excellence in the process. In his own words, Kenny G speaks candidly about his musical training, rigorous work ethic, and controversial standing in the jazz canon.

Listen to Kenny G premieres at 8 p.m. ET/PT on December 2 on HBO Max. Check out the new trailer below for a glimpse of Kenny G discussing his controversial career:

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